Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Features

'I'm proud to be in the small group of people who have competed in the Olympics'


By Kerry McKittrick

Johnny Davis competed in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics for Great Britain as a fencer and won silver and bronze at the Commonwealth Games for Northern Ireland. He now runs sports events company the Pioneer Group and is a Centra Run Together Ambassador. He lives in Belfast with his wife Katie and they have two children, Christy (23) and Ella (20)

My best moment

I'm cliched in that the best moments are my kids being born - they supersede everything. However, in the context of sport it was getting my first selection letter to compete in the Olympics Games. I was in a car accident when I was 12 years old and watched Mary Peters winning her gold medal from my hospital bed. I remember thinking to myself, I want to do that. I didn't know what sport at that stage, but it became my obsession for years.

My best song

Stir It Up by Bob Marley from Catch A Fire by The Wailers. I'm a big music fan, having worked in the industry in London. I remember seeing Bob Marley on the Old Grey Whistle Test - it was his first ever TV appearance - and I was just mesmerised by the music. It's a song about relationships, hope and positivity. A classic piece of music that I've played over and over - it's become a signature tune in our house.

My best way to relax Exercise. I'm addicted to it and need to do something every day. These days I work out in the gym as well as swimming and cycling.

My best job

I've never had a job and I try to avoid the word. These days I spend my time organising events for people to enjoy and challenge themselves at sporting events. I did enjoy the music industry where I worked with U2 and my favourite reggae artists.

My best advice

One came from my mother which was be nice to everyone you meet because you never know what they're going through. Another was after my first Olympics when I became ill with glandular fever. I was thinking of giving the whole thing up but I went to a football match and there was an old man leaning on the barrier. He said, "you're a long time retired son, don't give up yet".

My best movie

The Deer Hunter, which starred Robert de Niro, had a big impact on me. I'm very interested on what went on around the Vietnam War and socio-political events like that.

My best gift

My wedding ring. I'm very blessed with my marriage and my family.

My best achievement

It was being placed in the top 20 in the world in fencing. No one from this part of the world had ever competed in the Olympics for fencing. When you think about the Olympics only happening every four years that means a very small percentage of people who are a member of that club, I'm very proud to be one of them.

My best buy

My first iPod which I bought in New York a couple of weeks after the original ones came out. I just got it working again recently. Music is a big backdrop to my world and I think it's a better piece of technology than my phone.

My best book

The Fight by Norman Mailer. It's about the Rumble in the Jungle when Muhammad Ali fought George Foreman in Zaire. They were both amazing characters and the book gives a really good insight into boxing.

The Centra Run Together series is designed to facilitate the recent upsurge in running across Northern Ireland, encouraging communities here to take part in events together, while raising vital funds for Action Cancer. For more information visit

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph